The below was reported in the SMH CBD section; what is essentially the business and politics gossip page of the SMH/Age news papers.
It is presented as a bit of a laugh, but should it be? Is it appropriate that a Minister, now Treasurer, use the power and brand of his office and of the government to beat up and threaten businesses. And selected businesses at that.
Ok. The banks and financial services industry have misbehaved, but it was not a individual effort. It was a team effort of bad law, bad regulation, poor regulators and bad behaviour. Thus far the banks and regulators have been slapped about by the Hayne Royal Commission. How about some accountability from the legislators?
If the Treasurer wants a particular policy outcome, PASS A LAW. If a business is not complying with a law or a regulation, send in the regulators or the prosecutors.
This is really the stuff of a totalitarian state at worst and of crony capitalism at least.
One really needs to wonder what the word Liberal means in the context of a Liberal-National Government.
Busy Frydenberg sets the banks straight
As energy minister, Josh Frydenberg made paddling then AGL boss Andy Vesey over high power prices a sort of political performance art.
We assume the major banks are hoping the now Treasurer doesn’t have similar plans for them following his recent re-election.
The good news is they’ve already had a chance to meet him post.
Frydenberg waited just one day after being sworn in to start on the rounds.
The first catchup was at the ANZ HQ last Thursday, where he met chairman David Gonski and chief executive Shayne Elliott, followed by a face-to-face with NAB boss Phil Chronican on Friday.
Yesterday, Frydenberg was spotted meeting with Commonwealth Bank chief executive Matt Comyn, perhaps to double check that he really hasn’t tempered his sense of justice.
And while he hasn’t bedded down a meeting with Westpac boss Brian Hartzer, we’re informed he has already been in touch with the bank’s chairman Lindsay Maxted.
We’re told the message from Frydenberg to the Big Four wasn’t just one of a full adherence to Kenneth Hayne’s Royal Commission recommendations.
He wants interest rate cuts, should the Reserve Bank decide on them today, to be passed on in full.
Since the financial services royal commission, the banks have departed the national policy debate to focus on no longer being the most hated businesses this side of James Hardie.
Those close to the Business Council told CBD they banks had not contributed for some time.
Getting on with Frydenberg might be a good place to start.